What the Color of Your Motorcycle Says About You



What the Color of Your Motorcycle Says About You

There is actually a lot of information out there about what our color choices say about our personalities. Not surprisingly, it’s as subjective as the day is long. “Colors,” said Pablo Picasso, “like features, follow the changes of the emotions.” Also not surprisingly, there isn’t much out there specific to customer buying trends in the motorcycle industry. Perhaps no one really cares. With one large segment of the industry (dirt bikes), the decisions have been made for you: Hondas are red, Yamahas are blue, Kawasaki’s are green, KTMs are orange, BMWs are white…the color of your bike says nothing more than where you need to go for spare parts. It takes about three years for color trends to react to social influences, and perhaps motorcycle buyers just aren’t that into it.

What was it about the color of your motorcycle that clicked with you? Here’s a few pixels extracted from the palate of color psychology that might sound familiar.

What the Color of Your Motorcycle Says About You - Black


Technically, black is not a color; it’s the absence of color. It’s also one of the most popular, um, “paint jobs”, for motorcycles. Especially cruisers.

“Over the years, Suzuki and other manufacturers have tried a myriad of different colors in their cruiser lines, but none have been as successful as an all black unit”, said Wayne Hughes, District Sales Manager for Suzuki Motor of America. Long associated with the macabre and the whole bad-guy thing (Dracula, Darth Vader, Simon Cowell), in a vehicular context, black symbolizes sophistication and luxury. On motorcycles, let’s face it, it’s dead sexy. No, really. Researchers at the University of Kentucky (March, 2011) found that in 36% of crashes involving a driver’s failure to observe a motorcycle and then turning into it’s path involved black motorcycles.

What the Color of Your Motorcycle Says About You - White


White on the other hand, is the absorption of all light, so it’s the sum of all colors, which is weird, because it seems more like the absence of color altogether. The canvas is white before you paint on it, right? This explains why white is so often associated with concepts of purity (the driven snow, angels, Apple stuff). Heroes wear white hats and ride white horses (but not the white pony), so maybe you chose a white bike because you’re really just an all-around nice person who’s sort of a purist with style. Think Sonny Crocket: the fashionisto detective from Miami Vice, bustin’ white pony smugglers in his white Ferrari Testarossa.

What the Color of Your Motorcycle Says About You - Red


Red evokes strong emotions: “seeing red”, “painting the town red”, or “red-blooded” passion. Sammy Hagar may have said it best when he belted out, “green ain’t mean compared to red”. It’s also inextricably linked to excitement, vis a vis Ferrari’s rosso corsa, or “racing red” (the only legitimate color for any Ferrari, if you ask me). But, you can’t talk about red motorcycles without talking about that other Italian maker of fast, beautiful things: Ducati. Red bikes on the street are pretty much Ducatis until proven otherwise, but yes, it’s popular in any brand. “It’s a color that screams speed,” says Suzuki’s Hughes, and it’s difficult to separate the words “speed” and “Ducati”.  In a recent article from Fox Business News (yes, I went there) describing the most popular car colors, red apparently projects action, power, and masculinity. Hmm…I’m on my second red bike. Go figure.

What the Color of Your Motorcycle Says About You - Green


The color green is associated with nature, tranquility, and good luck, but when it comes to motorcycles, green just means Kawasaki. Period. Never mind the sparkly Kelly-green of the Triumph Street Triples and the electric-vomit-green of the early BMW 1000RRs. If you see green on a motorcycle, you’re probably looking at a Kawasaki. While the color green can have a calming effect (i.e., going to the green room before going out on stage), according to Kermit the Frog, it’s not easy to live with. “You blend in with so many other ordinary things”. Unless it’s Kawasaki green, which, by design, blends with absolutely nothing on the planet. It was a stroke of marketing genius when the brand adopted the color back in 1968, developed by the late custom car painter, Molly Sanders, who rightly pointed out that no other brand was using that color. And nobody has since, on or off the road. Not that they couldn’t if they wanted to; colors can be patented.

What the Color of Your Motorcycle Says About You - Blue


This is the most commonly listed favorite color among men, as evidenced by the well-known fact (in color-psychology circles, that is) that bluebies can be rigid blokes who stick to what’s familiar and stubbornly do things their way, even if there’s a better way (like mine). That’s blue’s dark side. Conversely, it’s associated with loyalty, faithfulness, trustworthiness, and sincerity. Bluebies make true-blue friends. Blue conveys a sense of calm and security, two traits that don’t ordinarily come to mind when thinking about one of the most popular sportbikes ever made: the Suzuki GSXR. Its blue and white livery is its biggest seller.

What the Color of Your Motorcycle Says About You - Yellow


”How wonderful yellow is”, said Vincent Van Gogh. It invokes warmth and cheer, and on the road, it’s high-visibility is literally, an attention-getter, hence, another Ferrari-favorite: Modena yellow. Personality traits associated with the color yellow are rather cerebral: using one’s mind instead of physical traits to accomplish goals, good at networking and problem-solving, while also arrogant, pretentious, and snobbish. I actually found a reference that said the color yellow resonates with journalists, but I’m not going to tell you where.

What the Color of Your Motorcycle Says About You - Orange


The high-energy, high-vis vibe this color gives off make it a favorite for motorcycles, both on and off the road. KTM adopted the color when emerging from bankruptcy in 1994 as a way of establishing brand identity. Good job; every KTM since then has featured this color. According to ColorPsychology.com, people who’s “personality color” is orange are extroverted and sometimes flamboyant risk-takers who aren’t very good housekeepers.

What color is your bike and why did you choose it?

  • Hooligan

    Matte grey Sreet Triple R because it is classy and understated. Not show off-y or needing sunglases to look at it.

    • hunkyleepickle

      i love that matte grey with the yellow decal work, best combo going imo. Makes me a little sad every time i look at my all black streety! I promised myself my next bike will not be black, i’m very sick of all black motorcycles!

  • Paul Stevens

    Red/white/black S1000RR. So, schizophrenic?

  • Sjef

    Red, because that was the color the first owner liked?

    • Gerardo Astroball

      you get the credit of making me laugh enough to spill my drink…

  • HyperLemon

    My first bike was black, picked it because of better resale value (but I still own it). My second bike was red and black, because the other paintjob (tri-color) would have meant to wait two more months and I liked both paintjobs anyways. My third bike was red and white, because I got a really good deal on it (used dual sport) and wanted to ride. Didn’t care about the color on that one, as long as it’s not offensive.

  • cloroxbb

    Black, because that is the only color offered on the 2013 cb500x…

    • Ryan Mayo

      They offered the red in Canada, but it really shouldn’t be an option because it looks horrible. I got the black one too, but I picked it up last week, so now the long painful wait for the snow to melt.

      • cloroxbb

        Remove the stickers, the red one would look MUCH better! :)

        • Ryan Mayo

          The red would look much better without the stickers, but still not great, it needs more red on the bike, the tank area doesn’t seem to be enough. Also I don’t like the colour of Red. I’m still debating taking the X of my black one.

  • Ayabe

    “Researchers at the University of Kentucky (March, 2011) found that in
    36% of crashes involving a driver’s failure to observe a motorcycle and
    then turning into it’s path involved black motorcycles.”

    Is there a link to that study? Most of those crashes would involve the driver failing the see the rider coming head-on where color may not even be visible, especially on a cruiser. Seems a bit dubious.

    • Rick O

      I’m also curious about this. With black being the most popular color,
      what is the probability of another color even being hit? How many more black
      bikes are there than others? I personally know very few cruisers that
      aren’t black. I don’t doubt at all that a black bike is less likely to be seen,
      but I agree that in that situation the bike color isn’t going to be
      noticed. The headlight, and the riders gear is what will be seen most.

    • Tupack Shackur

      I’ve read somewhere that white helmets seem to make you more visible and less prone to the sort of accidents that not being seen cause. I haven’t seen a study, though.

      I ride a Kawasaki Green bike with white gear, so I think I’m (hopefully) pretty good to go!

      • Devin Byrnes

        I was told about white helmets getting into less accidents with other vehicles during my Motorcycle Safety Course when I first wanted my license. I forgot the % they quote, somewhere around 27% sticks into my brain.

        The theory is that is shows up the best and is the brightest, and has superiority over other bright colours when the sun is in your eyes because yellow and orange will blend into the sun while white pops.

        • HoldenL

          I wear a white helmet and I’ve never been in an accident. So, there’s 100 percent proof that white helmets prevent accidents!

          But seriously, I do get the feeling that drivers see the helmet, and that the presence of a motorcyclist registers on their consciousness (in other words, no SMIDSYs). But no way of proving it.

        • The Blue Rider

          I’m more inclined to think that white helmet could mean cop, therefore driver’s brains tend to filter them out less.
          I have a notion that something simple like telling kids to keep count of motorcycles they see during driver’s ed training, thereby teaching them to really, actually see bikes as another road-going vehicle, would be at least as useful for visibility enhancement as bright dress on the rider.

      • BlackSnake

        Even if you find out that bikers wearing a white helmet are less often involved in accidents you wouldn’t know if this is due to helmet color or because bikers choosing a white helmet are the more careful and less risky riders.

        You would need at least two groups of arbitrarily chosen bikers. One you give white helmets the other you equipe with helmets of a color. Then you have to monitor them and record how often they are involved on accidents. Thereafter you could say wether white is safer than the color of the control group. You would need to repeat that experiment with any other color for which you want to prove that white is safer. I guess there is nobody out there how is willing to pay such a study. Therefore we will never know for sure.

        • Tupack Shackur

          All you have to figure out is which colours are most visible on the road. If it’s true that white is more visible than another colour, good enough for me. I think there’s plenty of science that shows our eyes pick up on brighter colours than darker colours.

          • BlackSnake

            Visibility does not only depend on brightness but also on contrast. There a couple of cenarios where a white helmet may blend with the background becoming mostly invisible. For visibility bright neon colors should be best that’s why they are also used for safety vests, though they are not the most stylish option.
            Never mind I do wear a white helmet too and hope it increases safety, but there is no final proof to it an probably never will.

        • gregory

          Heh, heh… “helmets of colour”… heh, heh…

    • BlackSnake

      The percentage alone doesn’t mean anything. If you don’t know how many motorcycles on the road are of black color you can’t draw any conclusion on how it affects safety. Say if 36% of all motorcycles are black it would be as safe to ride a black bike like any other color. If 50% of all bikes were black than it would be even more safe to ride in black.

      I think you got the point. I hope the guys at rideapart will finally find out how to quote statistics correctly or will no longer cite statistics which don’t have any meaning.

    • Heather McCoy

      As much as I hate to enable laziness, here: http://www.ktc.uky.edu/projects/causes-and-countermeasures-related-to-motorcycle-crashes/
      You point out a legitimate critique, by the way. There is another, much larger report from the UK that reports black motorcycles as being the most common color of bikes involved in a crash (of any kind), but since I misplaced the entire report and finding high-quality research on motorcycle crash statistics is like finding a contact lense in a bubble bath, I didn’t reference it. I found no reliable information whatsoever regarding motorcycle color popularity rankings by sales, either, so depending where black ranks on a list like that, it’s hard to draw any kind of conclusion.

      • Ayabe

        I’m lazy for asking you to cite your sources and pointing out that the one stat you post(with zero context) is basically nonsense? The onus is on you, you are the author.

        You misplace the report, admit that getting reliable stats if difficult, and then call me lazy?


        • Heather McCoy

          Dude, I was kidding; lighten up. Obviously, you are like the least lazy guy here!

  • Russell P

    Growing up, my favorite color was red. And I have owed 3 red motorcycles.
    But in the last 30 years, most of my bikes have been blue.
    And my current ride is a beautiful blue/silver BMW R1200ST.

  • Piglet2010

    The only bike I have bought where color was really a choice is my purple/white Bonnie.

  • AHA

    Slightly off topic: Does any single colour helmet work with a red bike?

    • Devin Byrnes

      Saw a guy on a Duc with an all white helmet – looked pretty sharp.

      • Reid

        All-white is a solid (lolol) choice for a bike of any color. What’s more, an all-white helmet is fertile ground for a cool custom paint job later.

  • Yarhj

    I hate to be that guy, but white is actually the reflection of all colors, not the absorption of all colors. > OK OK, I’ll see myself out.

    • Michael

      I second that. Black is the absorption of all colors, not white!

      • McSpofforson

        It definitely depends on whether you’re talking reflected or projected light. ((Ahhh, how well I remember arguing this in art school…))

        Irrelevant in my case, as both of my bikes came to me in lucky stock dark green (GB500/Scrambler).

    • Maximus

      Hey “that guy,” it actually depends if you’re talking about pigment or light. Combine all colors using light, and you have a white light. Combine all colors using pigment (like paint), and you have black.

      • Yarhj

        It’s a slow work day, so I’ll bite!

        Anytime you see something that looks white, it’s because you’re seeing a bunch of different wavelengths of light mixed together. It doesn’t matter whether those wavelengths of light are bouncing off pigment particles, or are being spat out by your computer monitor, because what you’re seeing is light.

        Now it is true that if you mix a bunch of colors of light (say you have red, green, and blue tinted flashlights, and shine them at a wall), you get white, but if you mix a bunch of colors of pigment you get black, but this doesn’t mean that white paint is absorptive (or something? Is that what you’re saying?). Instead it has to do with the way paint works, which is by absorbing all of the light that hits it, EXCEPT for light of a particular wavelength (color) or set of wavelengths.

        If you have a red pigment, roughly speaking it absorbs green and blue light, and reflects red light. If you have a green pigment it reflects green light and absorbs everything else, and so on. If you mix different pigments or dyes together you’ll end up with a bunch of stuff that’s really good at absorbing almost everything, and slightly less good at absorbing the colors corresponding to the colors you started with. If you mix enough pigments together, you end up with something that’s pretty good at absorbing everything, which is why you tend to get dark brownish blackish glop if you dump all your paints together.

        So in conclusion, no, it does not depend on whether you’re talking about pigments or light. A white object is always reflecting all colors of light roughly equally (and a black object is always absorbing all colors). Rules for mixing dyes and paints seem different, but that’s because when you mix dyes you’re creating a new material which absorbs even more light, i.e. you’re actually subtracting colors from the final result, whereas when you mix beams of light you’re adding colors together. (White paint is usually just composed of a single material that’s pretty good at reflecting everything. For instance, sunscreen is white because zinc oxide and titanium dioxide pretty much reflect everything equally).

        • Heather McCoy

          You would think by now I would learn to read ALL the comments before I reply…

        • socalutilityrider

          This was awesome. Thank you, no joke. I actually never knew the mechanism behind paint and was always curious.

      • Heather McCoy

        Oh, I just saw your response, Maximus! What you said!

    • Heather McCoy

      Well, not exactly…when viewing colors as reflections of light, white is indeed the manifestation of maximum light absorption; all other colors appear as varying degrees of light absorption. However, when viewing colors as manifestations of molecules (like pigments or chemicals), white is indeed the absence of said pigments. Therefore, you’re kind of right, since we’re talking about objects painted with pigments. I’m kind of right when you’re talking about PICTURES of those objects. In that context, you are probably more right than me. Don’t leave!

  • tincantroubadour

    An orange KTM, a yellow Triumph, metallic burgundy Yamaha, and a Kawasaki that was originally you-thought-it-was-black dark, dark brown with 3 gradients of “harvest brown” swoopy plume things… that was immediately painted flat black. Later, semi-flat black with some lime green / white added for good measure.

  • A P

    Uh, it was the colour available? Given my choice, I prefer a red-based paint scheme, but colour is the last on my list of “gotta have” items. Being a function-over-form kinda guy… not that I’m a spec-hound, just that the whole package has to “fit”. If it comes in a colour I prefer, BONUS!!

  • CanadianBiker

    Whenever I’ve had a choice, I went for black. Same goes for my cars/trucks. I just like the colour. Though I can’t imagine a Ducati in anything but red.

  • Tupack Shackur

    For the 2012 650 Ninja, I didn’t really think any option but Kawasaki Green was appropriate.

  • Jack McLovin

    I didn’t come here for my horoscope, oh and bee tea dubs the bike I wanted was sadly offered in only one color and also when buying used color is not always a choice.

  • Kirk Roy

    While red may be a traditional ducati color it is also a traditional honda color (not just on dirt bikes). If I think of red motorcycles I think honda not ducati. I’m sure honda has sold at least a couple more red street bikes than ducati has. ;)

    I like flashier colors on standards/nakeds (had a bright yellow hawk gt and bright orange z1000) but plainer colors on sport bikes (had a silver zx9r and currently have a black/silver cbr1000rr). I did have a bright green zx9r too but that was more because I couldn’t find a less flashy color at the price I was willing to pay at the time.

  • metric_G

    Yellow is he fastest color, all other arguments are invalid.

  • Jonathan Berndt

    “every KTM since then has featured this color.” hmm not entirely true at all.
    My LC4 was black on grey, the only orange being the LC4 decal.
    My 990SD is black on black from the factory, no orange at all. just sayin…

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      Sure, but every ktm since has also been available in that color. Just sayin…

      • Jonathan Berndt

        then you should have written that, just sayin…

        • Heather McCoy

          My bad (I wrote it; Wes is off the hook on this one). The KTM info came from an interview with Gerald Kiska, founder and lead designer of the industrial design firm, Kiska, that has been designing KTMs since their emergence from bankruptcy in 1994. There is specific discussion of the iconic orange color which I trusted was accurate, since it was published in print. I stand corrected.

          • Jonathan Berndt

            Good man.

  • http://www.nathanielsalzman.com/ Nathaniel Salzman

    I’ve got two brown Hondas and two white Triumphs. Of course brown means “The ’70s happened and we have to take the good with the bad.”

  • William Connor

    Bike is blue, which I suppose suits the description above for my personality. Although I could probably delve into the yellow a bit.

    • Piglet2010

      I really like the Kawasaki “Candy Plasma Blue”.

  • Robotribe

    Ahem: “sparkly Kelly-green of the Triumph Street Triples”

    I believe you meant, “Roulette Green”. Although I’m quick to defend the color choice of my Street Triple, to be fair, I recently added another bike to the collection; a black bike; my fourth black bike. Go figure.

    Once you go black…

    • HammSammich

      Came here to comment about “Roulette Green” but you had already done it for me. The first Speed Triple I ever rode was Roulette Green (a 2006, IIRC) and I loved the color. On the other hand, I ended up buying a 2007 Bonnie Black…

      • Robotribe

        Interesting. I just bought a 2014 T100 Black. Like minds.

    • Heather McCoy

      Lol…I happen to LOVE that sparkly (er) Roulette Green on the Triples! ;) I actually liked the barf-green of the 1000RRs, too though…

  • Rameses the 2nd

    I have a Matte Gray Scrambler and I love it. I am OK with all the colors in the list above except Kawasaki’s neon green; yuck.

  • Richard Gozinya

    I don’t know anything about color psychology, but that white Beemer sure is pretty.

    • Larry

      It really is. I just wish it wasn’t so expensive…virtually the same price as a GS.

  • Arno

    Drooling at the RSV4

    • Reid

      That is a most-beautiful mechanical thing.

      • Arno

        Indeed, the new R1 was nice but that Aprilia is a beaut

  • Reid

    Yellow on anything four-wheeled makes me want to barf, but on a Yamaha dirt bike or flat tracker? Flawless Victory. My KTM obviously has orange on it, but I’m not that big a fan of the color itself. I’d much rather have some kind of light gray or dark blue than black-on-orange, but that’s only a needless paintjob away. The moral of the story is: you can’t see what color your scoot is when you’re scooting.

    • Tupack Shackur

      Very interesting. I agree, we can get away with colours on a motorcycle that would be garish/ostentatious on a car. And I feel like whereas a red sportscar is a cop magnet, a red sportsbike is less so, no?

      • Reid

        I’ll agree with that, but I might add one caveat: red motorcycles are not more a cop-magnet than bikes of other hues because all motorcycles are equally cop-magnets. The Heat hates freedom all the way to the bottom of his porky soul.

        • Tupack Shackur

          Haha. Can’t blame ‘em, either. With the kind of degenerates that motorcycling attracts, I’d be on the lookout for them too ;)

          Besides, being able to beat a Corvette off the line with a mid-range sportbike sure doesn’t encourage law-abiding behaviour at all times. But I can’t say it wasn’t one of the reasons I wanted one.

          • Reid

            There’s no doubt that a few bad apples will spoil the bunch, just as there’s no doubting that owning an objectively fast vehicle for comparatively little money is not a major appeal of motorcycling. However, I haven’t felt the need to break too many laws in the name of having fun while riding. Just riding is fun enough (NOOB ALERT NOOB ALERT lol)

        • Piglet2010

          I did a charity ride sponsored by a LEO MC, and I would estimate that 90% of the riders with LEO club colors were on H-D or Victory – maybe that is why the loud pipes idiots get more of a pass from Five-O than squids do.


    What the color of my bike says about me is, I picked the color I liked best out of the tiny handful of choices. Or, my bike is in such demand that I took what I could get to get it when I wanted. fwiw, the two current members of the fleet can’t decide whether they are red or white.

  • David Dennis

    Got me a Siver vtx1300. Hmmm, he didnt talk about silver :(. Have owned a red 1100 shadow, blue 750 nighthawk, a custom painted 650 yamaha, a gold/black cb500 (he didnt mention gold) and a black trike!

    • Heather McCoy

      SHE didn’t cover silver because SHE ran out of room! ;)

      • Piglet2010

        My silver Honda Deauville is really good at *not* showing dirt – good thing because I would rather ride than clean a bike.

      • David Dennis

        I’m sorry! I didnt pay attention to who wrote the article. I punish myself by not riding today.

        • Heather McCoy


        • NextTurn

          Just say you’re sorry, and go ride. We aren’t sadists here. LOL

  • The Blue Rider

    My Street Triple is black, because I didn’t have a choice at purchase time. It’s grown on me, though, and one of the reasons I didn’t hunt down a Daytona front end was because I like the lighter gold of the stock forks. It always looks dirty, too, so I don’t really wipe down anything besides the plastics, tank, and forks. As it gets progressively filthier from winter commuting it somehow looks more badass.

    Color psychology is nearly in the realm of astrology for me – I’m an artist and I like ALL colors. I tend to look at bike color more from a design POV than an emotional one – I can’t really forgive Moto Guzzi for that weird brown on the newer Norge, and I don’t really like lighter green on the Triumph. Emotionally I find blue to be subdued and yellow loud and aggressive. Brand plays a role too: Ducatis should be red and Kawasakis should be green. So, I have a case-by-case relationship with color on bikes.

  • BrowncoatVoter

    My 09 Kawasaki ER-6n was only sold in blue. There were no other available colors, not even Kawasaki Green, which I would have preferred.

  • Brian Collins

    Black (first bike. good deal)
    Red (a VFR800 with factory saddlebags for $3K?!? SOLD!!!)
    Tri-Color (the ABS color option)
    White (anything but black, and the valencia orange option is just plain weird looking…)

  • zedro

    I own two Kawi machines, neither of them green (orange KFX and red/white KLX that looks very CRFish). I like that they usually offer the green (which I don’t like) and a year specific color. Trying to convince a bud to buy the green equivalents so we can race each other like TurboHoppers (#25 vs #49).

  • Aj Leger

    what happened to silver?

    • Heather McCoy

      I just plain ran out of room, Aj; sorry!

    • Kelly Burns

      Great question! And what about purple, brown, gray, gold, burgundy…??

      • Heather McCoy

        You’re killing me, girl…

        • Kelly Burns

          I think you did a great job picking the colors you did, Heather! Not trying to rip on you at all, just throwing some ideas out there for potential follow-up posts down the road. :)

      • Piglet2010

        As recently as the 2013 model year, one could buy a mostly purple Bonnie.

    • Piglet2010

      I have a silver 2010 NT700V Deauville, which is almost a perfect match for my 2005 Civic – hmm….

      • NextTurn

        I have the exact same bike. It isn’t a match to my 4Runner, but my wife didn’t want me to get another black bike. Also, it was too good of an offer to pass up..Next bike will probably be blue or red just to change it up.

        • Piglet2010

          For me it was have the dealer order a black 2011 with ABS at MSRP, or take the silver non-ABS 2010 NT700V on the floor for $2,500 off.

  • contender

    My TLS is flat black per the previous owner.
    My Ulysses is black per the previous owner.
    My KTM or orange and black per the previous owner.
    My XR400 is white per the previous owner.
    My old Vepsa is BRG per my dad who restored it.

    My bikes are all used because new is a waste.

    • Piglet2010

      If no one “wasted” their money buying new bikes, there would be no used bikes to buy.

      • contender

        Totally agree, but that doesn’t make their decisions sound.

        • Piglet2010

          On the other hand, I have bought new but one to two year old bikes at $500 (Elite 110), $1,500 (TW200) and $2,500 (NT700V) below MSRP.

  • John S

    My 96 Buell Thunderbolt is Parkway Blue, it looks purple. The first bike off the assembly line got painted with the wrong color paint. They had Erik Buell look at it and he liked the color so they went with it. I like it now but it took a while to get used to.

  • Rattashi

    Red, black and pearly white. Yes, you’ve guessed it, Honda CBR600RR and looks fantastic. I would never have a black bike, it’s practically invisible on the road unless you are driving it in Antartica.

  • E Brown

    The only bike I ever bought new was in the 70s and I can’t say my choice had some deep meaning, as it came in orange and blue, and the orange was a Hondamatic. My NT650 is gray but the only other colors for the model were blue or red and I’d be just as happy with either.

  • Larry

    When I decided I wanted a vstrom I looked for months until I found an 08 in matte black…the least ugly colour for an ugly bike. Blacked out frame, forks, swingarm can go a long way to making up for an unfortunate design.

    • Khali

      I see your matt black and go up with yellow details ;)

  • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

    “Researchers at the University of Kentucky (March, 2011) found that in 36% of crashes involving a driver’s failure to observe a motorcycle and then turning into it’s path involved black motorcycles.”

    I can almost guarantee you 36% of motorcycles are black.

  • Jack Meoph

    I have a black, red, yellow motorcycle , and a green scooter in the garage right now.

  • Piglet2010

    “Hondas are red, Yamahas are blue, Kawasaki’s are green, KTMs are orange, BMWs are white…”

    No love for yellow Suzuki dirt bikes?

  • Paolo
  • Bruce Steever

    Bikes should only come in black, white or red. Please discuss.

  • Campisi

    My Bonneville was metallic gold, oh yes it was…

  • http://hijosrides.tumblr.com/ Exwai

    Chose black. For my second bike it’s going to be white. I’m boring.

  • Mariofz1

    My bike is black and silver…..does it make me a skunk ?

  • BillW

    “Unless it’s Kawasaki green, which, by design, blends with absolutely nothing on the planet. It was a stroke of marketing genius when the brand adopted the color back in 1968, developed by the late custom car painter, Molly Sanders, who rightly pointed out that no other brand was using that color. And nobody has since, on or off the road.”

    And with good reason, in my opinion. It’s freakin’ ugly! I really, really HATE Kawasaki green. And it’s not that I hate green, or Kawasaki. My last two cars have been green, and I’ve had three Kawasakis. But I’m really happy that my ’12 KLX250S is cleverly disguised as a Honda.

    Color psychology as applied to motorcycles is pretty pointless, I think, because the vast majority of motorcycles are only available in 1-3 colors in any given model year. It’s not like cars, where you have a huge range of colors to choose from and can really choose the one that lights your fire. H-D, of course, is the exception here, but even then, you won’t find the full range of colors of every model sitting on the showroom floor.

    That being said, now that I think about it, every bike I’ve bought has been, at least partially, red or blue. My first bike, a KZ650, was both, as a result of some of the bodywork having been stolen and replaced with the other color during the previous owner’s tenure. Combined with its white Vetter Windjammer fairing, it was as patriotic as a Japanese bike could be! I did have one black bike for a little while, but it was a gift.

  • metalheartmachine

    Mine is …Hazard Orange.

  • Scott Vogt

    ive never been a dedicated brand guy but K.T.M. has me hook line and sinker looking for anything orange. Also hat tip for blue, specifically anything with blue anodized rims (gsxrs, husabergs etc)

  • Jeremy

    Black – because it goes with everything. One thing I’ve learned, from having a black bike, is that while people don’t see motorcycles anyway, blacking everything out, isn’t helping your case. It does make for a sexy bike, though. Plus it hides grime, better.

  • NorvinShadow

    White & Orange. Coz tht’s the only paint finish my KTM 390 was available in.

  • thatdoode

    I choose this stealth grey :]

    • NextTurn

      See… that is a great color to give that bike some depth while still being as sexy as a black bike. Wish my bike was closer to this color.

      • thatdoode

        Thanks! People often tell me it looks like something batman would have and I get thumbs up all the time.

    • Gerard Antony John

      I’m not sure if you are absorbing light or reflecting it :P

  • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

    purple: Means you’re probably the coolest person you know. That you should totally hang out. Whatever you want out of the fridge, dont even bother asking, take it, it’s yours.

    • Piglet2010

      You must have missed that I own a purple Bonnie.

      • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

        I don’t read your comments and HA HA.

    • maxkohl

      Heck yeah I own the same bike. Screw the boring colors.

  • MommaZX

    Curious what purple would say. My Ninja is purple.

  • atomicalex

    The degree to which I fully represent the yellow motorcycle contingent is shameful.

  • Mark Fehlman

    A red RD, a blue RD, an orange KTM dirt bike, a custom painted blue CBR1000RR and a red BMW K1600GT. I think the only conclusion that can be drawn is that I LOVE BIKES!! All kinds of bikes!!

  • evo moto

    My Triumph Rocket III Roadster is Matte Black, it just had to be, it looks so badass in black, and matte…
    …and my Triumph Daytona 650 is Racing Yellow, ’cause that’s the fastest colour ;)

  • ThinkingInImages

    In order: black, or white, or red, without graphics stickers. The design has to work monotone. KTM is the only motorcycle I’d buy in orange, graphics and all.

    I’m not all that particular about color as I am about style and silhouette. Some motorcycles look awkward in any color.

  • PaulY

    Nobody has said anything about Triumph’s “Nuclear Red”on the second generation Speed Triple? It was kind of a retina burning pink, I loved that color, but most guys reacted very negatively, seems like it was an insult to masculinity for most.
    The first generation Speed Trip also came in orange, but I know of several that got repainted black.

  • Brian Schellberg

    I never thought I’d own anything yellow, but I really fell for the yellow Ducati Monster 620. Searched a long time to find one!

  • https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC28gtkJP-bK77M5Qyc3Dn7g/videos Ichiban Moto

    One of each please

  • gregory

    My Daelim maxi-scooter is white and my Yamaha standard is black. Hmm…

  • Robert VicePrez Revhead Dvy

    I have owned a red Suzuki GP125…a black Kawasaki GPX 250…a black Kawasaki VN800….yellow Honda VFR 800i….purple Yamaha MT01….and currently a white (with tribal graphics) Victory Vegas Jackpot…and it is my favourite so far

  • Ben B

    Blue because it was a good deal even though I’m not particularly fond of blue bikes. I’d probably choose between red, white or a satin grey.

  • CruisingTroll

    Black. Because Honda only does one color per model year for the ST1300, and in 2006 that color was black. NOT my preferred color. I can confidently state, as someone who has lived in the desert for multiple scores of years, black is far and away the color most attractive to dust, and most effective at soaking up heat. Neither characteristic is endearing to me.

  • http://www.bikething.co.uk/ Jonathan Ward

    My bike is gold, what does that say about me? :D

  • Philip Azzara

    “Red bikes on the street are pretty much Ducatis until proven otherwise…” Lol

  • juliansr

    My bike is red, white AND blue. I’m basically a nutcase.

  • Glenn Rueger

    Black is the color of a proper motorbike.
    Maybe a bit boring, but proper.

  • Literdude

    “Heroes wear white hats and ride white horses (but not the white pony), so maybe you chose a white bike because you’re really just an all-around nice person who’s sort of a purist with style. Think Sonny Crocket: the fashionisto detective from Miami Vice, bustin’ white pony smugglers in his white Ferrari Testarossa.”

    That’s a bit of a stretch. Sonny had a black Ferrari for the first half of the show. In fact, it was during the time he had the white Testarossa that he got amnesia and became a criminal himself — including shooting his partner in the chest.

    • Heather McCoy

      Technically, that black “Ferrari” was a Corvette-based custom.(replica with Ferrari panels). The authentic white Testarossa came along in season 3. The show went on for another 4 seasons and halfway through, yeah, Crocket (aka Burnett) shot Tubbs. I see your Miami Vice trivia and raise you some Seinfeld!

  • WeAreChange Wichita

    Just ONE correction. Black IS a color. More accurately, a combination of all colors in the spectrum will yield… Black. It’s WHITE that’s the ‘neutral’, absent of color altogether. Just sayin’! Love the site…

  • stephanie croc

    hmm! I always fall for a black/white combo. Psychologically I don’t know why ( and I certainly never consciously think that’s what I am looking for), but my BMW F800R, my Subaru Outback and my Falcon utility work car are ALL that combination. But agreed, with many motorcycles there is very little in the way of choice since the factories have their own colour plus a few staples

  • labradog1

    My 1977 BMW R100S is midnight blue (so dark it’s almost black), no pinstripes. Elegant and badass!

  • Jay Stevens

    “What color is your bike and why did you choose it?”

    Grey. It’s the only color a U.S. spec 2013 Yamaha FJR (the first year the FJR had real cruise control) comes in.

  • Gabe Perreira

    Is it bad to want a bike that’s red?.

  • Mr. White

    Or maybe someone rides a particular color bike because that’s what the shop had in stock at the time!

    • LS650

      Exactly! A rider might prefer red, or green, or whatever, but when you walk into the showroom you’re stuck buying whatever they have.

  • Xion

    Well, I plan to go Teal, or Purple as soon as I have the money… At least it’s something original:P

  • Adam Drayer

    you described colors in the light spectrum with the absence of all color/ sum of all colors things… in the art spectrum it is just the opposite, black is the sum of all colors.. just my $.02

  • Johnny Nightrider

    my first bike was yellow a Yamaha 80cc Chappy.Next real motorcycle was red Honda CB125s.My first sportbike was a blue and white Suzuki GSXR 1986.Got stolen.My most recent bike was a Yamaha FZ6 in a cool dark Blue.I want a Bike that people can see so I have less of a chance of being a hood ornament.

  • Johnny Nightrider

    helmets are another thing.I have a blue and white helmet though I notice more bikers wave to me when I wear my Black and white helmet.

  • April

    Ugh…. doesn’t have the color of my bike on this list…

  • Shistang

    A yellow, green, or orange motorcycle generally means that you are a Negro.

  • http://www.robgadv.com/ RobG

    I generally like my vehicles to be white, but after a while, it’s getting boring. My truck is white. It’s ten years old (still looks great), but WHITE. Boring. My DR650 is white, but has that awful purple frame. My KLX250S is good ole Kawi Green. I LOVE that green… also on Arctic Cat snowmobiles. Then my V-Strom is that metallic orange. Sharp color. Bought it used so I lucked out. :)

  • rroske

    Hahah! Good Article with great comments. Is Rust/Grease considered two-tone? Maybe as a follow-up.. someone with a psychology degree reports on our personality traits based on the variety of modifications we see done. Like.. what does a milk crate strapped on the back of a CB350 really tell us about you? Bones, skins and/or animal parts attached means what? How about those little action figures mounted on the bars or rear fender?

    • Heather McCoy

      Now, I could really go to town on THAT one…great idea!

  • SuperMarina

    “…in 36% of crashes involving a driver’s failure to observe a motorcycle
    and then turning into it’s path involved black motorcycles.” Yeah. Because about 40% of bikes are more or less black…